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Old 07-22-2008, 05:37 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Headphone Guide - READ BEFORE POSTING !

We seem to get alot of people coming to this section and asking them same question, and they all get the same reply. So i thought i'd make a section on the good and the bad, the required and the unrequired. Hope it helps !

Some meanings to start off with.

Bright = Opposite of dark, little bass and lots of treble.
Dark = not alot of treble in the music, bassy.
Warm = Not flat, they have boosted bass and enhanced midrange. Not for monitoring purposes
Monitors/Monitoring headphones = Used in studio's as they have a very flat frequency response (no frequency is louder than the other) so are a true representation of the recording.


1) Never, ever, purchase Bose headphones, nor Bose speakers, nor Bose anything. Just don't. Bose have a bad record of changing the sound there speakers emit to make it appear that they are good, they use trickery that the usuall person at a first listen may find nice - it is only once the person has herd the original recording, through some true headphones that offer a real representation of what the sound should be like that the apparentness of Bose's doings are obvious, so i'm warning you in advanced, and saving you money. You are purely paying for some high tech crap and a brand name with Bose, stear clear.

Quote:
Originally Posted by EricB View Post
bose uses some psyco-acoustic manipulation (eq and time alignment) to give it a great sound to a person that doesn't know about good sound. these people will tire of listening to them fairly quickly. they have never been accurate.
2) There are several types of headphones, but here's how i generally class them:

- Headphones that go over the head
- In ear headphones (earphones, earbuds etc)
- HiFi Inear/Over head
- Gaming over head
- Open headphones, Closed headphone
- Supra Aural, Circumaural

Supra Aural means the headphones sit on your ears, whereas circumaural try to enclose your entire ear.

Open back means you can hear everything around you, and the music escapes from the headphones easily. They offer better depth and soundstage.

Closed back are the normal headphones you would be used to. Little sound escapes, the music is more dense in texture as a result.

Soundstage, how well you can point in the direction you think you can hear instruments. A good soundstage will have you thinking instruments are far away, close, infront and behind you, even above you.

Detail, is how many small sounds you can here, and how well you can here them. Things like plectrums moving up guitar strings, people breathing. Resonances off close by walls in the recording studio etc.

3) So, i've told you never to get bose. I guess you need telling what too get now, so here it is. With there individual characteristics (These are not set in stone !, just the brands GENERAL sound signature)

Sennheiser (Circumaural) - Pretty dark headphones (Not alot of treble) especially on the Hi-Fi series, quite bassy and smooth midrange. Very comfy on high end models. Sennheiser also do good inear headphones.

Audio Technica (Circumaural)- Pretty similar to sennheiser, but there faster headphones, they involve you more with the music in my opinion. The high end Audio Technicas are comfy headphones, also do good inear headphones.

Grado (SupraAural)- The kings of rock, these arn't really good for anything but rock music, but for that they excel at, very bright brash headphones, textured bass. Uncomfy.

Allesandro (SupraAural)- Same as grado, they look identical too. Uncomfy.

Beyerdynamic (Circumaural) - BIG BASS, especially on the DT880, DT770 series, however some are very bright. Comfy.

AKG (Circumaural)- Exquisitley detailed and revealing, most awesome soundstage you will find, very little bass. Nice midrange. THE KINGS OF COMFORT

Shure (inear only)- Very warm earphones, lovely sound - not so detailed however. Comfy

Etymotic (inear only)- Nice sounding earphones, rather stark and clinical though. Fairly comfy.

Ultimate Ears (inear only)- Better than etys in the non clinical part, but still less forgiving and warm than shures. Fairly Comfy.

Stax - I doubt any of you will ever get any, i wish i could, if you can afford them. Excellent !

Denon - D2000 and D5000 are both very comfortable, nice sounding headphones.

Razer - Relatively good gaming headphones, uncomfortable

SteelSeries - Good gaming headphones, can't comment on comfort.

Gaming headphones are less good in sound quality as there Hi-Fi type headphone friends, however they usually feature genuine surround sound for movies and gaming.


Now ALL of these will benefit from an headphone amplifier. I would recommend any of the Ray Samuals Audio amps, Graham Slee are good too, apogee duet, headamp, the Valve amps off ebay are good too. These are all expensive though. You NEED one with AKG headphones, sennheisers definitely benefit from one, the rest run OK on soundcards so it's not a necessity.

If you are using them with your PC. You must have a good soundcard, ones using the X-Fi (Creative cards, Auzentech etc) chip are good, preferably get M-Audio, or Juli are good too.

[EDIT Courtesy of Apokalipse ! (changed slightly)]
Quote:
In terms of sound quality, the stock X-Fi's from Creative are let down by some not-so-good components. the X-Fi processor itself is quite good, however.
Auzentech's X-Fi's have much better components at stock though.
X-Fi's in general are more gamer oriented, for their positional/surround audio.

for just music, or recording, the ESI Juli@ should sound better

Now i'm just going to list headphones i would reccomend, for hi-fi (music use) These are the best headphones for music, however they are generally more expensive.

Sennheiser HD650 (good for dance music) , HD600 (good for dance), Entire HD500 series. The HD280pro are cheep and good aswell.

AKG K701, K601, K501

Audio Technica. ALL of there headphones above the ATH-A500. The cheeper headphones are good too, but i find the ATH-A500+ best.

Grado - All of them if you listen to rock, or metal music.

Beyerdynamic - DT880, DT770 for bassy music.

Denon - D2000, D5000 Good for all music

Shure - The SE530's are one of my favourite inear headphones. The best sounding out of all speakers and headphones i have EVER heard for dance music.

Ultimate Ears - All of them, Only if you are confident you like a flatter less warm sound

Etymotic - All of them, Only if you are confident you like a flatter less warm sound
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Old 07-22-2008, 12:36 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Headphone Guide - READ BEFORE POSTING !

WOOOOOT nice post man very interesting!!
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Old 07-22-2008, 12:39 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Headphone Guide - READ BEFORE POSTING !

As i said via PM. Why not Bose? Give reasons to defend this statement. Some people may like Bose. Give them a reason why they shouldnt use Bose orther than your opinion. Give them facts and articles to read on why Bose is not all that it is cracked up to be. By you saying do not use Bose would be like me, a known Windows Geek, to say do not use OS X. I hope you understand why i ask for this information.

Cheers,
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Old 07-22-2008, 04:08 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Headphone Guide - READ BEFORE POSTING !

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mak213 View Post
As i said via PM. Why not Bose? Give reasons to defend this statement. Some people may like Bose. Give them a reason why they shouldnt use Bose orther than your opinion. Give them facts and articles to read on why Bose is not all that it is cracked up to be. By you saying do not use Bose would be like me, a known Windows Geek, to say do not use OS X. I hope you understand why i ask for this information.

Cheers,
Mak
Basically, Bose sacrifice quality of sound for loudness and *boom* *boom*
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Old 07-22-2008, 04:16 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Headphone Guide - READ BEFORE POSTING !

you forgot to mention that audio technica headphones have awsome soundstaging.
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Old 07-22-2008, 04:32 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Headphone Guide - READ BEFORE POSTING !

Quote:
Originally Posted by Oreo View Post
If you are using them with your PC. You must have a good soundcard, ones using the X-Fi (Creative cards, Auzentech etc) chip are good, preferably get M-Audio, or ESI Juli@ are good too.
In terms of sound quality, the stock X-Fi's from Creative are let down by some not-so-good components. the X-Fi processor itself is quite good, however.
Some people modify their X-Fi's using components such as LME49720's/LM4562's, and better capacitors such as Blackgate's and Nichicon's
Auzentech's X-Fi's have much better components at stock though.
X-Fi's in general are more gamer oriented, for their positional/surround audio.

for just music, or recording, the ESI Juli@ should sound better
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Old 07-22-2008, 05:34 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Headphone Guide - READ BEFORE POSTING !

awesome guide

I have a pair of igrados and they are great, sound wonderful and are not uncomfortable it just hurts to take them off (long hair)
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Old 07-22-2008, 08:24 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default

Ah well, my ears are fairly prominent :embaressed: So the supra aural design tends to hurt my ears after a while on the Sr225, and the RS1. This seems to be the opinion of most people though.

Quote:
Originally Posted by timblanchard View Post
you forgot to mention that audio technica headphones have awsome soundstaging.
How many audio technica headphones have you had or listened too, comon, tell me, spit it out

They are good, but nothing spectacular (unless you buy there really quite expensive models) like Moi But AKG offer it in all there headphones, which is why i didn't mention it. Thanks for the opinions guys, appreciated.

Ah sorry mak..double post.
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Old 07-22-2008, 08:33 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Headphone Guide - READ BEFORE POSTING !

quite an interesting read,good job. Sticky?
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Old 07-22-2008, 08:36 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Headphone Guide - READ BEFORE POSTING !

+1 for sticky
I was looking into audio technica too last week
AKGs just look so much expensive than A. Technica heh
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